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Five of the Top Modern Day NBC Alumni

When people think of great players who played in the NBC World Series, the names that often come to mind are MLB Hall of Famers like Roger Clemens, Ozzie Smith and Joe Carter, or those who have had Hall of Fame careers and will join them soon, like Albert Pujols. But while nearly 1,000 National Baseball Congress alumni have gone on to the majors over the past 90 years, there is also plenty of current, young talent from the NBC making their mark today. Here’s five of the best NBC World Series alumni playing in the majors in 2024:

Matthew McLain

McLain played in the 2020 NBC World Series, where he hit leadoff for the Santa Barbara Foresters, helping them achieve a 4-0 record and secure the tournament victory. A year later, McLain was selected in the first round of the MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds from the University of California.

In 2023, McLain made his MLB debut and has since accumulated a career WAR of 3.7 and a batting average of .290. Currently, McLain plays regularly for the Reds, rotating between shortstop, second base, and third base positions.



Jung played in the 2017 NBC World Series for the Santa Barbara Foresters. Jung was a star at Texas Tech, and in 2019 he was drafted 8th overall by the Texas Rangers. Jung was called up in 2022 and played sparingly, but in 2023 he won the full-time third basemen job.

In the 2023 season Jung was named to the All-Star team and was a vital piece for the Rangers World Series Championship. Jung is the most the recent NBC Alumni to win a World Series and the first Santa Barbara Forester alumni to win a World Series. 


Tim Anderson

Anderson played for the Dodge City A’s in the 2012 NBC World Series, contributing to their 3-2 record in the tournament. Following his time at East Central Community College, Anderson was drafted in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. He made his Major League debut in 2016 and enjoyed a successful tenure with the White Sox, earning two All-Star selections, a batting title, and a Silver Slugger award.

Before the 2024 season, Anderson signed with the Miami Marlins, where he currently serves as the everyday shortstop.

In recognition of his achievements and journey, Anderson was named the 2020 NBC World Series Graduate of the Year.


Jeff McNeil

McNeil was named an NBC World Series All-American in 2011 while playing for the tournament champion Santa Barbara Foresters. McNeil posted an .345 batting average across seven games, scoring 8 runs and driving in four. He was subsequently drafted by the New York Mets in 2013, following his tenure at Long Beach State University.

Debuting in 2018, McNeil has since earned two All-Star selections, a Silver Slugger award, and a batting title. His career includes a 19 WAR and a .292 batting average. As of 2024, McNeil continues to hold the position of everyday second baseman for the Mets.

Additionally, in 2021, McNeil received the honor of being named the NBC World Series Graduate of the Year.


RYan Helsley

Helsley made his mark with the 2014 Santa Barbara Foresters during the NBC World Series, contributing as a bullpen piece to their championship victory. The following year, Helsley was drafted in the 5th round by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Upon his debut in 2019, Helsley quickly established himself as the Cardinals’ full-time closer. Since then, he has emerged as one of baseball’s most dominant relievers, achieving a career ERA of 2.79 and accumulating 59 saves. As of 2024, Helsley remains a key player for the Cardinals, leading the MLB with 24 saves and poised to earn his second All-Star selection.

Helsley was honored as the 2023 NBC World Series Graduate of the Year.

On the Watch List:

Bryce Elder (Santa Barbara Foresters, Atlanta Braves), Chrisitan Encarnacion-Strand (Santa Barbara Foresters, Cincinnati Reds) and Ryan O’Hearn (Santa Barbara Foresters, Kansas City Royals-Baltimore Orioles)

The next wave of NBC World Series prospects takes the field July 25-August 3, 2024 at Wichita State University’s Eck Stadium for the 90th NBC World Series, powered by Evergy. Who knows what future major leaguers will be on that field, making their name for themselves.

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